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POEMS

OF

BEN JONSON.

UNDER-WOODS.

CONSISTING OF DIVERS POEMS.

TO THE READER.

With the same leave the ancients called that kind of body Sylva, or stay, in which there were workes of divers nature, and matter congested; as the multitude call timbertrees, promiscuously growing, a wood or forrest : so am I bold to entitle these lesser poems, of later growth, by this of Under-wood, out of the analogie they hold to the Forrest, in my former booke, and no otherwise.

BEN JONSON.

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Eternall God the Sonne, who not denyd'st
To take our nature; becam’st man, and dyd'st,
To pay our debts, upon thy crosse, and cryd'st,

“ All's done in me.”

O HOLY, blessed, glorious Trinitie

Of persons, still one God, in unitie.
The faithfull man's beleeved mysterie,

Helpe, helpe to lift
My selfe up to thee, harrow'd, torne, and bruis'd
By sinne, and Sathan; and my flesh misus'd,
As my heart lies in peeces, all confus'd,

O take my gift.
All-gracious God, the sinner's sacrifice.
A broken beart thou wert not wont despise,
But 'bove the fat of rammes, or bulls, to prize

An offring meet,

Eternall Spirit, God from both proceeding,
Father and Sonne; the comforter, in breeding
Pure tboughts in man: with fiery zeale them feeding

For acts of grace.

Increase those acts, ô glorious Trinitie
Of persons, still one God in Unitie;
Till I attaine the long'd-for mysterie

Of seeing your face.

Beholding one in three, and three in one,

A HYMNE
A Trinitie, to shine in unitie;

ON THE NATIVITIE OF MY SAVIOUR.
The gladdest light, darke man can thinke upon;
O grant it me!

I sing the birth was born to night,

The Author both of life and light; Father, and Sonne, and Holy Ghost, you three

The angels so did sound it, All coeternall in your majestie,

And like the ravish'd sheep'erds said,
Distinct in persons, yet
unitie

Who saw the light, and were afraid,
One God to see.

Yet search'd, and true they found it.

The Sonne of God, th' Eternall King, My Maker, Saviour, and my sanctifier.

That did us all salvation bring, To heare, to meditate, sweeten my desire,

And freed the soule from danger; With grace, with love, with cherishing intire, Hee whom the whole world could not take, O, then how blest; The Word, which Heaven and Earth did make,

Was now laid in a manger. Among thy saints elected to abide,

The Father's wisedome will'd it so, And with thy angels placed side by side,

The Sonne's obedience knew no no, But in thy presence, truly glorified

Both wills were in one stature;
Shall I there rest?

And as that wisedome had decreed,
The Word was now made flesh indeed,

And tooke on him our nature.
What comfort by him doe wee winne?
Who made himselfe the price of sinne,

To make us heires of glory? HYMNE TO GOD THE FATHER. To see this babe all innocence;

A martyr borne in our defence;

Can man forget this storie? HEARE mee, O God!

A broken heart

Is my best part:
Use still thy rod,

That I may prove
Therein, thy love.

CELEBRATION OF CHARIS,

A

IN TEN LYRICK PRECES.

I. HIS EXCUSE FOR LOVING,

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Let it not your wonder move,
Lesse your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fiftie yeares,
I have had, and have my peeres ;
Poets, though devine, are men:
Some have lov'd as old agen.
And it is not alwayes face,
Clothes, or furtune, gives the grace ;
Or the feature, or the youth:
But the language, and the truth,
With the ardour, and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then will read the storie,
First, prepare you to be sorie,
That you never knew till now,
Either whom to love, or how:
But be glad, as soone with me,
When you know, that this is she,
Of whose beautie it was sung,
She shall make the old man young,

Keepe the middle age at stay,
And let nothing high decay,
Till she be the reason why,
All the world for love may die.

Sinne, Death, and Hell,

His glorious name

Quite overcame,
Yet I rebell,

And slight the same.

But i'le come in,

Before my losse

Me farther tosse,
As sure to win

Under his crosse.

II. HOW HE SAW HER.
I BEHELD her on a day
When her looke out-fourisht May:
And her dressing did out-brave
All the pride the fields then have:

1

Parre I was from being stupid,

That they still were to run by her side, ride. For I rap and callid on Cupid ;

Through swords, through seas, whether she would “ Love, if thou wilt ever see Marke of glorie, come with me;

Doe but looke on her eyes, they doe light Where's thy quiver ? bend thy bow :

All that Love's world compriseth! Here's a shaft, thou art too slow !”

Doe but looke on her haire, it is bright And (withall) I did untie

As Love's starre when it riseth ! Every cloud about his eye;

Doe but marke, ber forhead's smoother

Then words that sooth her!
But he had not gain'd his sight

And from her arched browes, such a grace
Sooner, then he lost his might,
Or his courage; for away

Sheds it selfe through the face,
Strait hee ran, and durst not stay,

As alone there triumphs to the life Letting bow and arrow fall;

All the gaine, all the good, of the elements' strife. Nor for any threat, or call, Could be brought once back to looke.

Have you seene but a bright lillie grow, I, foole-hardie, there up tooke

Before rude hands have touch'd it? Both the arrow he had quit,

Ha' you mark'd but the fall o' the snow And the bow, which thought to hit

Before the soyle hath smutch'd it? This my object. But she threw

Ha' you felt the wooll of bever?

Or swan's downe ever?
Such a lightning (as I drew)
At my face, that tooke my sight,

Or have smelt o' the bud o' the brier?

Or the nard in the fire ?
And my motion from me quite;
So that there I stood a stone,

Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
Mock'd of all: and cali'd of one

O so white ! O so soft! O so sweet is she !
(Which with griefe and wrath I heard)
Cupid's statue with a beard,
Or else one that plaid his ape,

V. HIS DISCOURSE WITH CUPID,
In a Hercules his shape.

NOBLEST Charis, you that are
Both iny fortune and my starre !

And doe governe more my blood,
III, WHAT HEE SUFFERED.

Then the various Moone the flood !
AFTER many scornes like these,

Heare, what late discourse of you, Which the prouder beauties please,

Love and I have had; and true. She content was to restore

'Mongst my Muses finding me, Eyes and limbes; to hurt me more:

Where he chanc't your name to see And would, on conditions, be

Set, and to this softer straine; Reconcil'd to love and me:

“ Sure," said he, “ if I have braine, First, that I must kneeling yeeld

This here sung can be no other, Both the bow and shaft I held

By description, but my mother! Unto her; which Love might take

So bath Homer prais'd her haire; At her hand, with oath, to make

So Anacreon drawne the ayre Mee the scope of his next draught,

Of her face, and made to rise, Aymed with that selfe-same shaft.

Just about her sparkling eyes, He no sooner heard the law,

Both her browes, bent like my bow. But the arrow home did draw,

By her lookes I doe her know, And (to gaine her by his art)

Which you call my shafts. And see! Left it sticking in my heart :

Such my mother's blushes be, Which when she beheld to bleed,

As the bath your verse discloses She repented of the deed,

In her cheekes, of milke and roses; And would faine have chang'd the fate,

Such as oft I wanton in. But the pittie comes too late.

And, above her even chin, Looser-like, now, all my wreake

Have you plac'd the bankè of kisses, Is, that I have leave to speake,

Where you say, men gather blisses, And in either prose, or song,

Rip'ned with a breath more sweet, To revenge me with my tongue,

Then when flowers and west-winds meet. Which how dexterously I doe,

Nay, ber white and polish'd neck,
Heare and make example too.

With the lace that doth it deck,
Is my mother's! hearts of slaine
Lovers, made into a chaine !

And betweene each rising breast
IV. HER TRIUMPH.

Lyes the valley, cald my nest,
See the chariot at hand here of Love,

Where I sit and proyne my wings Wherein my lady rideth!

After Alight; and put new stings Each that drawes is a swan, or a dove,

To my shafts ! Her very name, And well the carre Love guideth.

With my mother's is the same."As she goes, all hearts do duty

“ I confesse all," I replide, Unto her beauty;

“ And the glasse hangs by her side, And,'enamour'd, doe wish so they might

And the girdle 'bout her waste,
But enjoy such a sight,

All is Venus : save unchaste.

But, alas! thou seest the least

I will but mend the last, and tell Of her good, who is the best

Where, how, it would have relish'd well; Of her sex; but could'st thou, Love,

Joyne lip to lip, and try : Call to minde the formes, that strove

Each suck other's breath, For the apple, and those three

And whilst our tongues perplexed lie, Make in one, the san:e were shee.

Let who will thinke us dead, or wish our death. For this beauty yet doth hide Something more then thou hast spi'd. Outward grace weake love beguiles: Shee is Venus when she smiles,

VIU. URGING HER OF A PROMISE. But shee's Juno when she walkes,

Charis one day in discourse
And Minerva when she talkes."

Had of Love, and of his force,
Lightly promis’d, she would tell

What a man she could love well:
VI. CLAYMING A SECOND KISSE BY DESERT.

And that promise set on fire

All that heard her with desire. Charis, guesse, and doe not miss,

With the rest, I long expected Since I drew a morning kisse

When the worke would be effected: From your lips, and suck'd an ayre

But we find that cold delay
Thence, as sweet as you are faire.

And excuse spun every day,
What my Muse and I have done:

As, untill she tell her one,
Whether we have lost or wonne,

We all feare she loveth none. If by us the oddes were laid,

Therefore, Charis, you must do't, That the bride (allow'd a maid)

For I will so urge you to't, Look'd not halfe so fresh and faire,

You shall neither eat, nor sleepe, With th' advantage of her haire,

No, nor forth your window peepe, And her jewels, to the view

With your emissarie eye,
Of th' assembly, as did you !

To fetch in the formes goe by:
Or, that did you sit, or walke,

And pronounce, which band or lace You were more the eye and talke

Better fits him then his face; Of the court, to day, then all

Nay, I will not let you sit Else that glister'd in White-hall;

'Fore your idoll glasse a whit, So, as those that had your sight,

To say over every purie Wisht the bride were chang'd to night,

There; or to reforme a curle; And did thinke such rites were due

Or with secretarie Sis
To no other grace but you !

To consult, if fucus this
Or, if you did move to night

Be as good as was the last :
In the daunces, with what spight

All your sweet of life is past, Of your peeres you were beheld,

Make account anlesse you can, That at every motion sweld

(And that quickly) speake your man. So to see a lady tread, As might all the Graces leade, And was worthy (being so seene) To be envi’d of the queene.

IX. HER MAN DESCRIBED BY HER OWNE
Or, if you would yet have stay'd,

DICTAMEN.
Whether any would up-braid
To himselfe his losse of time;

Of your trouble, Ben, to ease me,
Or have charg'd his sight of crime,

I will tell what man would please me. To have left all sight for you:

I would have him, if I could,
Guesse of these, which is the true;

Noble; or of greater blood :
And, if such a verse as this

Titles, I confesse, doe take me,
May not claime another kisse.

And a woman God did make me.
French to boote, at least in fashion,
And his manners of that nation.

Young I'd have him too, and faire, VII. BEGGING ANOTHER, ON COLOUR OF MENDING

Yet a man; with crisped haire,
THE FORMER.

Cast in thousand snares and rings,
For Love's sake, kisse me once againe,

For Love's fingers, and his wings : I long, and should not beg in vaine,

Chestnut colour, or more slack
Here's none to spie or see;

Gold, upon a ground of black.
Why doe you doubt, or stay?

Venus and Minerva's eyes,
I'le taste as lightly as the bee,

For he must looke wanton-wise. That doth but touch his flower, and flies away.

Eye-brows bent like Cupid's bow,

Front, an ample field of snow; Once more, and (faith) I will be gone.

Even nose, and cheeke (withall) Can he that loves aske lesse then one?

Smooth as is the billiard ball :
Nay, you may erre in this,

Chin, as woolly as the peach;
And all your bountie wrong:

And his lip should kissing teach,
This could be call'd but halfc a kisse.

Till he cherish'd too much beard, What w'are but once to doe, we should doe long. And make Love or me afeard.

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